Product/service innovation refers to the process of creating new methodologies of solving customer problems, through either new service or product development that benefits both the company and the individual customer. Innovation is very important to firms in the industry and greatly determines whether a company is a leader or a follower.
Companies that employ innovation ultimately turn out to be market leaders due to their development of new products or business models. In addition, for firms to remain competitive, they have to create superior value for the target market through the management and development of innovative services and products. The customers must perceive the products and services to be superior in comparison to those of competitors (Sakao and Mattias 238).
SOCOOOL Company must come up with innovative strategies for its products and services in order to capture a considerable market share in both Jeddah and Kuwait. The company must incorporate the social factors of the GCC population in its product development. The population is comprised of young people who embrace an attitude, style and fashion.
It would thus be appropriate for the company to make sure that their products such as the bags, stationery, key chains and activity books have features and decorations that add fashion and style (Dauda 50). For instance, the items can be customized by having the customer’s name printed on them after a purchase. This helps in meeting the needs of the young people who represent the highest percentage in the target market. As for females in the population, the company must increase the variety of gifts needed by them for exchanges during birthdays and several other occasions.
This may be done through the development of new gifts in the product line (Halen and Robert 35). School teens have their own identities and hidden personalities while making their back to school item purchases. It would thus be necessary for the company to incorporate such features, for school teens’ products such as bags, pencil case, stationery, key chains and notebooks. In addition, these items must be diversified in order to meet different customer’s identities as well as personality (Dauda 50).
The current marketing strategy in the industry is weak, thus the company can improve its marketing effectiveness by creating customer awareness for its products. The company must carry out marketing and advertising strategies through TV shows, Anime, Video Games and movies. These are some of the media mostly used by the target market. This makes it possible for the company to make its marketing through online social services like the Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Yahoo (Halen and Robert 31).
For instance, the use of Instagram is a free opportunity to advertise and communicate with customers instantly and respond to them regarding comments they post. The target market highly uses mobile phones and satellites that act as potential places for placing company advertisements. The company can use certain celebrities to advertise their products in online platforms (Wulfen 21).
The company can as well create several specialized accounts on Twitter in order to improve its relationship with customers. It is through such media’s that the company will increase the awareness of its products and services. Customers will thereby respond by making purchases and this will ultimately increase the market share of the company in the industry. Hence, the increased market share may imply increased competitive advantage for the business (Wulfen 20).
The current industry analysis indicates that the company does not have an existing distribution channel. It is appropriate for the company to structure a distribution channel that will aid it in delivering its products to the target market. This involves having distributors for company products, wholesalers and even kiosks in several locations in the two countries (Dauda 52).
Ensuring that customers access company products at the nearest shopping center or kiosk not only increases sales but also assures customers in getting the company products. This ultimately creates customer responsiveness that leads to increased loyalty. Products and services easily accessed by customers at minimum costs yields competitive advantage in the industry (Dauda 52).
The current production cost of the company is very high. The research and development team must investigate on latest trends in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the production process. The restructuring of the product development processes makes the products unique and appealing to the customers (Sakao and Mattias 239).
The company must make use of the economies of scale in order to produce at low costs. The company needs to do a market analysis of its target market in order to understand what the market wants. This helps in designing products and services that specifically meet customer needs. Additionally, this saves money and wastages that may arise from producing unwanted products, thus decreasing the company’s overall production costs (Halen and Robert 23).
The company must make improvements in the packaging of consumer goods. The company must come up with modified wrapping materials such as papers that will not only attract customers but also create a positive impression towards the company’s products. This will increase the competitive advantage of the company as well as increasing customer loyalty (Wulfen 17).
In summary, product/service innovation is quite significant for any company in order to improve its competitive advantage in the market. SOCOOOL must incorporate several strategies, including marketing, production, packaging, distribution and social factors in order to improve its competitive advantage in both Jeddah and Kuwait. Generally, improved innovation in products and services will also lead to other added benefits to the company such as increased sales and increased customer loyalty.
Dauda, Yunus. Managing Technology Innovation: The Human Resource Management Perspective. Frankfurt, M: Lang, 2008. Print.
Helen, Cees, Carlo Vezzoli, and Robert Wimmer. Methodology for Product Service System Innovation: How to Develop Clean, Clever and Competitive Strategies in Companies. Assen, the Netherlands: Koninklijke Van Gorcum, 2005. Print.
Sakao, Tomohiko, and Mattias Lindahl. Introduction to Product/service-System Design. London: Springer, 2009. Print.
Wulfen, Gijs. Creating Innovative Products and Services: The Forth Innovation Method. Farnham, Surrey: Gower Pub, 2011. Internet resource.